Canonsburg, Pa. – Today, President Barack Obama will visit Scranton, where the “principal issue” he’s expected to address will be jobs. And as poll after poll continues to underscore the American people’s concern about job creation and economic growth, this is a welcomed visit from our nation’s leader. For its part, the natural gas industry has been – and continues to be – a driving force of regional economic activity and private-sector job growth. And as part of Guiding Principles, we’re committed to Building a Stronger, More Secure America.
Reinforcing the natural gas industry’s commitment to growing jobs while protecting our environment and strengthening our nation’s energy security, the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) took to the Scranton-area airwaves and opinion pages in the run up to the President’s visit today to highlight the fact that clean-burning American natural gas development, and the robust supply chain of small- and medium-sized businesses that supports this critical work, are a solution to our nation’s economic challenges.
Last night, MSC President Kathryn Klaber appeared on WILK-FM’s “Corbett’s Corner” program. Host Steve Corbett notes that he’s “watched with amazement at how proficient the Marcellus Shale Coalition has been in basically winning the hearts and minds of a lot of people in Pennsylvania,” as the industry continues to help put tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians to work at a time when jobs are most needed. Following are key remarks from Klaber’s interview, which is available online here:
- “The reason we’re so excited to have [the President] come talk about jobs is that you really can’t talk about job creation and relative unemployment rate, still far too high but a couple points lower than it would be otherwise, but for the operation of this industry. The [Pa.] Department of Labor and Industry has really upped their quantitative analysis of this. There are over 200,000 jobs now that they attribute to the activities of this industry, both direct and indirect jobs. And then also those jobs that are happening in communities that are seeing benefits.”
- “[Northeast Pennsylvania’s] area of the Marcellus development is an incredibly important one given the quality of the gas and the companies who have really put down roots there and are working on not just building the next well pad right, but putting the processes and infrastructure that’s going to stand the test of time, from roads to gathering lines. I can’t say were done in any way shape or form. We have so much more to do.”
- “[The President] talked about in March equating jobs in the natural gas industry with the resource that is ‘literally underneath our feet,’ as he put it. He absolutely sees the connection, and I would say that job issues are absolutely not partisan. And some of our biggest challenges still lay ahead, regardless of who’s in the majority in the states that we operate, or in Washington, DC. We’ve got to do it right. And Republicans and Democrats should hold the industry accountable for protecting the environment. That’s not a partisan issue.”
Separately, in an opinion piece which appeared in today’s Scranton Times-Tribune, Klaber emphasized the fact that responsible American natural gas development is a “jobs generator.” Here’s the piece:
As President Obama visits the region today, he will address a host of critical issues, particularly the importance of creating private-sector jobs in America, and creating an environment that will put our nation on a stronger, more secure and prosperous path forward. And while the national economy continues to struggle, there’s a starkly different – and much brighter – story manifesting itself in our region.
Pennsylvania continues to be the tip of our nation’s economic spear. The responsible development of clean-burning American natural gas from the Marcellus Shale is bringing about an economic renaissance – ushering in the type of job creation that our nation so desperately needs – that few could have projected just a few years ago. Indeed, according the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, nearly 214,000 jobs in the commonwealth are tied to natural gas development.
At the same time, struggling consumers and small businesses now find themselves on the receiving end of much-needed relief in the form of more affordable and stable energy costs as abundant domestic natural gas supplies from the Marcellus Shale continue to grow.
The president has acknowledged our nation’s natural gas revolution. In a speech earlier this year, he said “the potential for natural gas is enormous,” noting that there is broad bipartisan support for using more of this abundant, clean-burning, homegrown resource “in the shale under our feet.”
He’s absolutely right. And we hope the president and leaders across the nation will embrace the historic economic, environmental and energy security opportunities that exist right here in Pennsylvania and across the country “in the shale under our feet.”